London, Part Three… Welcome to Hogwarts!

In case you weren’t aware…

IMG_7849 IMG_7905

…we are a Potter loving family.

Halloween, 2010

Halloween, 2010

Yep, all of us.  Some of us have read the books and seen the movies more than others, but everyone joins in the fun.  So our quick trip to London last weekend was actually planned around our tickets to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in Leavesden, just outside the city.  Of course, just outside the city meant over an hour of driving.  Seriously, traffic in London is no fun.

So you pull into the parking lot and there they are.  Two huge soundstages labeled J and K.  Get it?  J and K.  JK.  Because who wrote the books?  That’s right!  J.K. Rowling.  Those Hollywood types are so clever.

So here we go….


(L’s hands are the same size as Emma Watson’s.)

And then we actually walked through the front door and the kids went nuts.  “Mommy look it’s the car!  Mommy look there’s Draco!  Mommy look, Mommy look, Mommy look!”  It was awesome.

So they herd you in, about 50 at a time to see a little movie about the studio.  Then the screen rises and behind it is the door to the Great Hall!  It’s right there.  And you get to walk through it.


And it’s just like you see in the movies.  And those aren’t cardboard walls and flimsy paper props.  You might as well be in a real castle.  That is solid stone floor and intricately carved wood and a beautifully detailed fireplace.  A-mazing.

The Great Hall

Gryffindor Costumes.  Check out Neville's sweater!

Gryffindor Costumes. Check out Neville’s sweater!

Ben and Hagrid

Ben and Hagrid

You guide yourself through, taking as little or much time as you want.  There are plenty of people to ask questions to, who seem to be quite excited about their jobs.

Harry Potter Pendulum


Snoozing former Headmasters

Snoozing former Headmasters

Nobody home at number 4 Privet Drive

Nobody home at number 4 Privet Drive

the head of nearly headless nick100_8552

As promised, Snape's Hair

As promised, Snape’s Hair

Check it out!



Yep, I made them do it.

One of the last things you see is the 1/24 Hogwarts model.  Now, after all the props and costumes and information you get you wouldn’t think that a model of a castle is going to be necessarily “Wow”, but it is.

Hogwarts Model

They used this model in all eight films whenever they had to show the outside of the castle.  Now every time we see  Hogwarts in a movie, one of us yells, “There’s the model!”.


And so our London trip came to an end.

The next morning we said goodbye to the city and drove back toward the tunnel.  We had a little time to spare so we headed toward the coast to check out the white cliffs of Dover.  And what better way to see the British countryside than in a cold drizzle.



Sometime during our trip we got into an elevator with a British couple.  They had heard us speaking and asked us if we were from the States or Canada.  I told them we were from the States but we currently lived in Belgium, to which the gentleman replied, “Oh, well you’re practically local then”.

I like to think so.


3 thoughts on “London, Part Three… Welcome to Hogwarts!

  1. You’re family is awesomely brilliant. I missed the studio opening by almost a year, which made me sad (but I got to see the Doctor Who Experience, which made me much less sad). When I was there people asked me if I was from London; apparently my strange Hawaii-Boston accent sounded English enough to confuse them. 🙂

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